Live at Leeds is The Who's first live album, and is the only live album that was released while the group were still recording and performing regularly. Initially released in the United States on 16 May 1970, by Decca and MCA and the United Kingdom on 23 May 1970, by Track and Polydor, the album has been reissued on several occasions and in several different formats. As of 2005, the album is ranked number 170 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
It is often cited as the best live rock album of all time and is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. It is also included in Q magazine's list of Loudest Albums of All Time.
After releasing Tommy in mid-1969 The Who went on an extended world tour to promote it, and returned to England at year's end with a desire to release a live album from the tour. However, the band balked at the prospect of listening to approximately 80 hours of accumulated recordings to decide which would make the best album and it was rumoured that the tapes were subsequently burned to prevent bootlegging. Roger Daltrey cast doubt on this rumour in a 2006 BBC interview, but it was supported by Townshend